IT departments are facing greater pressures than ever before. The volume and variety of work is increasing. Cybersecurity and data privacy threats are growing - in frequency, severity, and sophistication.
It’s getting harder (and more expensive) to find, hire and retain top IT talent. And the pace of technological change is only increasing, providing a competitive advantage to those business who are able to quickly adopt new tools and processes.
No wonder many organizations are looking to co-managed - or supplemental - IT services to help out!
Read on to learn how a co-managed IT partnership can help reduce expenses, offer a predictable monthly spend, give you access to a broad bench of tools and expertise, and most importantly, de-risk your business environment when it comes to cybersecurity protection.
IT services is an ever-evolving specialty that spans many areas, such as infrastructure management, workstation and server upgrades, help desk, networking, cybersecurity, and specialized consulting – just to name a few.
A typical organizational IT footprint includes most, if not all, of these IT functions. But sometimes the need to keep up with them all outgrows the capacity of a small IT department.
Any time there are major changes to a business, such as unexpected growth, it puts a huge strain on the IT department. Often a small team is asked to do more than the hours in the day allow.
In the current environment, most businesses don’t have the cash flow to support multiple new hires in one department. But they also know that their current staff are overworked.
This is where co-managed IT comes in.
What Is Co-Managed IT?
Co-managed IT is a solution that helps organizations maximize their technology management efficiencies by combining their existing internal IT department with an outsourced IT partner.
Co-managed IT allows your capable, existing IT team to focus on the tools and processes they’re great at, while the Managed IT partner assists in the areas where your team is stretched too thin.
A key thing to note about co-managed IT solutions: they DO NOT replace the internal IT department.
From a business owner's perspective, co-managed IT is an absolute win in terms of cost and performance. The cost is far less than hiring additional full-time IT staff, while the performance is so much higher than one more internal employee.
From our perspective, an organization wins overall when they have a successful marriage of an internal IT team that’s being supplemented by a managed IT partner.
Outsourced IT services bring a team of experts into your company. The expanded skill set and state-of-the-art technology you add to your business improve performance and efficiency across every department throughout your organization.
How Does Co-Managed IT Work?
Co-managed IT is perfect for some organizations and a poor fit for others. For instance, if you don’t already have a full-time IT manager who can be your point person, you may not be ready for co-managed IT.
However, if you have a large IT team but they’re swamped, or if you’re growing/scaling your business and want to remove stressful or repetitive tasks from your team, then co-managed IT is the way to go.
The only way to know for sure is to compare your current (and future) situation with the prime drivers that prompt organizations to embrace co-managed IT.
When To Consider Co-Managed IT Services
1) You need to save money.
Many economic indicators are pointing to a recession in the next few years. Even during better economic climates, businesses are always looking for ways to save. Many have come to realize that when they compare the cost of outsourced IT with hiring supplemental in-house IT staff, the savings can be substantial.
2) Your in-house IT team is overwhelmed.
Perhaps your IT team is great at doing low-level work, and that’s how you want to keep things. The managed IT services partner can help by managing your in-house infrastructure, such as provisioning servers, updating firewalls, and configuring switches. You essentially outsource your system engineer position to a server management company.
In other cases, maybe your IT service provider takes over the day-to-day IT functions of your help desk using remote IT support tools. These help desk services free up your internal IT team to work on higher-level initiatives, such as patch management, asset management, and keeping things up and running.
If your organization has a rock-solid IT team that manages everything, including server and network management and pesky day-to-day issues, they probably don’t have much time for long-term IT strategy.
An MSP can offer virtual Chief Information Officer, Chief Technology Officer, or Chief Information Security Officer engagements to help fill in this gap and help with strategic projects.
The point is, a great Managed IT Services provider will be able to fill in the gaps and give you the additional IT support services your business needs, no matter how large or small!
3) You demand faster response times to critical IT issues.
Is there anything more destructive to productivity than having to wait on IT to fix an issue? While it depends on the organization, 70:1 is the industry-standard minimum ratio for employees to help desk technicians. This means your help desk technicians need to have absolutely nothing on their plates except troubleshooting the issues experienced by your employees. For most small to medium-sized businesses, this simply isn’t possible without outside help.
4) You must reduce connectivity downtime.
One or two internal IT employees can troubleshoot network connectivity or hardware failure issues only so quickly. But with additional assistance from a co-managed IT team, you diagnose and repair problems with much less downtime.
5) Your cybersecurity infrastructure isn't ready for remote work.
As the world of remote work continues to evolve, your need for cloud security does as well. Managed security services can ensure that every device used to connect to your network and access your data is secure. This also can be monitored and maintained remotely, taking yet another stressful piece of the IT puzzle away from your small internal team.
6) You haven't recently updated your disaster recovery plan.
Backup and disaster recovery are essential, and chances are they’re not getting the attention they need if your internal team is always putting out daily fires. You need a cohesive disaster recovery plan to ensure that your business can maintain operations in the event of a trying situation, such as a ransomware attack or natural disaster.
7) You want to offer your employees 24/7 IT support.
Most businesses don’t realize how helpful and cost effective it can be to have an IT team available 24/7. Having a team around after business hours to help with emergencies is an obvious benefit for any organization, but even simple things like overnight software and firmware updates mean your employees never have to sit through an update process during the day, and your systems are always up to date with the latest security patches!
8) You're growing and need to scale quickly
Most changes in your business mean adding employees, which means more hardware to manage. Thanks to virtualization through DaaS (Desktop as a Service) and SaaS, your application licenses and security software can be easily managed and expanded by the outsourced IT team. With cloud-based telephony, you can even manage office phone numbers and set up softphones on employees’ mobile devices.
Co-managed IT Lets In-House IT Teams Do More
Co-managed IT is often the best solution for small to mid-size companies that have a small internal IT team, but need supplemental IT support and/or expertise in a particular area. It also helps those who simply don’t have the bandwidth to handle the volume of requests and want to outsource some of the workload.
Keep in mind, this arrangement works best if you already have or can hire a full-time, in-house technology manager to oversee the relationship.
Co-managed IT doesn’t mean the end of your internal IT team. It means finally getting to realize the full potential of your employees, while removing some of the most stressful and repetitive tasks from their lives.
If you’re not certain how to efficiently scale your IT team, or if IT issues seem to be on the rise, co-managed IT may be for you. Reach out to us if you want to explore the option of co-managed IT for your organization.
Want to learn more about Co-Managed IT Services for your business? See Ntiva’s Co-Managed IT Services.